Published: Nov. 10, 2019

Why did you choose engineering at CU Boulder?

I realized I wanted to pursue engineering after taking AP Physics in high school. I was really bad at physics, but my teacher was really supportive and encouraged me to keep taking math and physics classes. I worked really hard to understand the concepts and ended up realizing how much I liked physics and math. I grew up in Boulder and I love living here, so CU was the obvious choice for college.

What does the #iLookLikeAnEngineer hashtag mean to you?

As a woman in engineering, I feel empowered seeing posters of people just like me who are up to the challenge of tackling a degree in engineering and standing up to stereotypes in this field. I hope that others feel this sense of empowerment when reading our stories and seeing the faces of the campaign.

What are three things that make you unique?

  1. I love art, specifically photography and music, which is why I am minoring in Technology, Arts, and Media.
  2. I am a tutor for the BOLD center and want to help engineering students succeed.
  3. I love cloud spotting...point at a cloud and I can probably name it.

What are your career goals?

I’m hoping that my future career will focus on the use of aerospace applications such as satellite imagery and remote sensing to study the impact of human activity on Earth’s environment and climate. I am also interested in the aviation industry so a job in that field would be really cool...evidently, I am still working to figure out my career goals. 

What are your hobbies?

I play classical guitar, I love photography, hiking, backpacking...really anything outdoors. I also make really good chocolate chip cookies.

Do you have a favorite quote or mantra?

"When life gets you down you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming!"

What do you enjoy most about engineering?

I enjoy the teamwork aspect. Not just in project classes and labs, but in the program as a whole. Everyone is working toward a common goal: earning their degree, and everyone is in it together.

What is your favorite engineering experience?

I love teaching younger students about how cool engineering is. I was never exposed to engineering projects when I was in grade school, and I feel that teaching students about STEM through hands-on activities is the best way to get future engineers excited about college and beyond.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

As a freshman, I still wasn't quite convinced that I wanted to pursue a major in engineering. I actually stopped all together and took a year off from my major of Aerospace Engineering to explore other options. I ended up minoring in Technology, Arts, and Media and started back on the aerospace track in my third year here at CU. What I have come to realize is that this program is difficult, and it is always OK to take a step back and slow down. Though this major is ultimately what I want to pursue, I wanted to make sure I was happy and got to try other classes.

Lara Buri, Class of 2020, Monarch High School Graduate, Aerospace Engineering